A Woman Alone: Autobiographical Writings Test | Final Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. In "African religions," Bessie states that African religion doesn't receive value because they don't have what?

2. In "Notes on novels," Bessie states that wealth and privilege are dependent on what?

3. In "Makeba music," Bessie states that she believes in what?

4. What people did the Bushmen resemble?

5. In "Makeba music," where would Russian people caught dealing in the black market be deported to?

Short Essay Questions

1. In Chapter 2, why is the friendship between Bessie and the American woman painful?

2. Why was Bessie able to write in Botswana rather than South Africa?

3. When Bessie arrived in Botswana in 1964, what were the major differences that she noticed between that country and South Africa?

4. What is Bessie's opinion of Botswana men?

5. How are Bessie and the American woman different?

6. In "Despite Broken Bondage . . .," how were women treated in Africa before independence?

7. What was Bessie's life like during the two years that she lived in the refugee community in northern Botswana?

8. Why according to Bessie has Botswana survived by "sheer luck and unexpected good fortune"?

9. In "Makeba Music," how does Bessie describe the musician, Makeba?

10. What was Bessie's first experience of racism in a black form?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In "Preface to witchcraft," Bessie states that while living in South Africa she lived with a shattering sense of anxiety. Do you think that some anxiety remained even after her move to Botswana? Do you feel a sense of this in her writings? Is the format of "A Woman Alone" a reflection of an anxious person? Does the constant "skipping around" from one to piece to another, one subject to another, speak of an anxious brain? Do you perceive a lack of finishing one thing before starting another? Or, do you think the format is intentional and simply reflects Bessie's individual style?

Essay Topic 2

Bessie views African religion as "within oneself," with no need for institutions or communal worship. Does this seem to work well, for them? Why does Bessie think that this fits into their basic philosophy of life? Bessie states that this is the religion of any people who have never been wanted by the rest of mankind nor had the means or education to find God in a "posh place." Do you agree with this statement? Does a place of worship have to be posh? Is the fact of a community coming together more important than the structure that they worship in? Why, do you think, she assumes that all organized religions have elegant places of worship? Do you think she's right? Given the black South African's sense of being set apart from the rest of the world, do you think their type of "individual" worship only serves to emphasize their "aloneness"? Would a more group-based religion make them feel like part of something larger?

Essay Topic 3

In "An unspeakable crime", Bessie expresses her disdain of the Coloured Affairs Department. What are they doing in Port Elizabeth and Capetown that she disagrees with? Describe the actions of the coloureds, whom she feels are accessories to the crime. Are they ashamed of their actions? Should they be? Do you think that they truly don't know their own minds and think that the Coloured Affairs Department knows what's best for their children? Or, do they see the situation for what it is and go along with it because it's the only way to survive?

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